Bill Geddie, a close associate and longtime producer of Barbara Walters, is remembering the late icon.
On Monday’s Good Morning America , Geddie reflects on working with Walters, who passed away on Friday at 281.
“I’m trying to get past the mourning phase and into the celebration of life,” Gerdy told Robin Roberts. “It’s an amazing life that needs to be celebrated.”
Geddie started working with Walters at 500 her TV special, they later teamed up to create The View in . When Roberts asked what the working climate was like for women at the time, Gerdy acknowledged that Walters would experience not only sexism but ageism as well.
“I can’t believe it. I took over the Barbara Walters special from the great Phyllis McGrady and the best thing I’ve ever found on TV Good job, I told everyone,” Gerdy said. “I was talking to some TV executive there, who will remain anonymous, a male, he’s been away for a long time, and he said ‘Hey, don’t be so fast, boy. You’re , she is 33. No one wants to be in Saw an overage woman on TV 33. So you have a year, maybe two.’”
“A quarter of a century later, she does live TV five days a week, and we’re doing primetime specials. People talk about her fight against sexism, but that ageism front So what? She’s amazing in that, too,” he added.
Although Walters is the co-creator and former co-host of The View, Geddie admits she wasn’t initially interested in The idea of hosting a daytime talk show was intriguing until a conversation with my daughter spawned an idea.
“I love Live [with Regis and Kelly]. I’m a huge fan of Regis Philbin. I’ll keep saying to her, ‘We should do a daytime show’ because I’m with Barbara Walters, and yes, she can do anything. So I said, ‘Let’s do a daytime show,’ but she never showed any real interest,” Geddie recalls. “Then one day, we were waiting for a long light show, and she said to me, ‘You know my daughter and I have very interesting conversations. We see the world from a different perspective. So you think there’s a show in it?'” Walters also cited Virginia Graham’s syndicated show Girl Talk as an example.
“I wrote it down. I had a different title and I called it “Everybody’s a Critic” and the title of this show sucks. We marketed it , and they said, ‘We love it, but we hate the title,'” Geddie recalls. Despite the approval, Geddie said at the time that Walter’s boss and ABC News president Roon Arledge thought the show was “a terrible idea” because it was a “terrible time slot” and thought it would be bad for Walter. “Dangerous” for Smith and her career. “He was right. But we went ahead,” Gerdy said.
After working with Walters for decades, Geddie says one of the things he’s learned from her is to “do it now” and “don’t procrastinate.” “It’s always a little bit intimidating when you propose to her,” Gerdy said, noting that if he suggested interviewing the first lady, Walters would rush to arrange an interview right away.
In further reflection on what he will miss about Walters, he praised her humor and hard work. “I miss her being funny. She thinks I’m funny. If you think I’m funny, you get it. I’m your whole life. And, she keeps me on my toes. Barbara would make anyone feel like a slob Ghost. She kept me on my toes, and I’m grateful. I appreciate people who do. She’s done an amazing thing for me and the world,” he said. “That’s not the Barbara I know. I mean, she’s got really strong ideas, but she can convince a bad idea, and then convince her to turn it into a good idea, and I think that’s for everybody in this world. It’s very important to say.”